President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would cut the EPA’s budget by 31 percent. Given the current threats our planet faces, Trump’s timing is poor to say the least. For a concrete example, we need look no further than Flint, Michigan where lead has rendered the town’s water supply undrinkable.
On Friday, CNN reported that the EPA announced that it would provide the town of Flint with $100 million in order to make the necessary upgrades to their water supply.
EPA chief, Scott Pruit, who was recently appointed by President Trump, praised the decision say it was important to ensure all Americans have access to clean drinking water.
‘The people of Flint and all Americans deserve a more responsive federal government. EPA will especially focus on helping Michigan improve Flint’s water infrastructure as part of our larger goal of improving America’s water infrastructure.’
Pruit is correct that the federal government should work to address the needs of the people, but we can’t help but think that the EPA’s reduced budget will make that mission even more difficult than it already is.
Local politicians also expressed their gratitude to the EPA with Governor Rick Snyder saying that the funds would help keep Flint on a solid path going forth.
‘Combined with the nearly $250 million in state funding already allocated, this will help keep Flint on a solid path forward. It’s great to see federal, state and local partners continuing to work together to help with infrastructure upgrades and pipe replacements for the people of Flint.’
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver also released a statement where she thanked the federal government for the funds.
‘The City of Flint being awarded a grant of this magnitude in such a critical time of need will be a huge benefit’
While Pruit and Snyder have both expressed approval of the EPA’s decision, it should be noted that the funds came from a bill that was signed by President Obama.
This situation makes Trump’s budget all the more baffling. The tragedy that befell Flint is a prime example of why we need the EPA. Yet, instead of increasing the agency’s ability to prevent and respond to disasters like this, Trump is crippling the organization by reducing its budget by nearly a third.
For more information, check out this report on the Flint crisis from CNN, via YouTube:
Featured image via Getty Images.